Bell & Telus announce Ericsson & Nokia as 5G partners . . .
In an unexpected blow to China’s Huawei, Canadian telecom giants Bell and Telus announced on Tuesday that they had selected Ericsson and Nokia to build their 5G infrastructure. Rogers previously announced Ericsson as their 5G partner in April. Pressure and speculation had been mounting for months on whether Prime Minister Trudeau would ban Huawei from participating in Canada’s 5G development. With all three big carriers now intending to work with Huawei’s competitors, the decision may have a less significant impact.
Global hostility rising towards China, Huawei . . .
The United States has been pressuring its allies for months to ban Huawei’s participation in 5G development and has indirectly declared war on the company. Last month, US President Donald Trump extended his ban to 2021 on US companies buying or working with Huawei, citing national security concerns. After initially approving Huawei to build its 5G in January, the U.K. is now reconsidering its decision as it works to reset its relations with China following the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the U.K. hard. The U.K. announced last week that it was in talks with Washington to form a “D10” club of countries to counter Huawei by propping up its competitors.
Canadian indecision . . .
Canada has long faced pressure from the White House to ban Huawei. Just yesterday, the US State Department threatened to reassess its intelligence-sharing arrangement with Canada if it approves Huawei. Sino-Canada relations have grown tense since the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wangzhou in Vancouver in late 2018 on a U.S. extradition request. In a blow to Meng’s case last week, a B.C. court found that her charges met the “double criminality” standard, paving the way for her extradition proceedings to move forward. With the Canadian telecom giants already picking their partners, Ottawa may now be able to make a Huawei decision based on a diplomatic strategy over business.